Tag: age: tweens and teens

The Right Kind of Fear is a Good Thing

I cheated on a test . . . once. I am not proud of it. I did get caught. I am glad that I did . . . get caught, that is.

It was in math: dry and liquid measures, memorized. I thought it was too much.

After all, my head was full of baseball. Now if you had asked me to know the distance from pitcher’s mound to home plate, or first base to second base, or home plate to the fence, or how many homeruns Roger Maris hit the year before, or Mickey Mantle’s batting average, those things would have been different.

So I cheated. Having written down the measurements on an index card, I held it between my legs during the test. Talk about telegraphing a message to the teacher, I could have put up a neon sign and not been any more obvious. (more…)

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What’s fun about that?

It is almost like teenagers worship fun. They crave it. They plan for it. They discuss it. They look forward to it. They reminisce about it. What is strange to me is that I don’t remember my early teen years as being fun as much as being stressful.

Mark Hoffman, in his book The Joshua Principle, describes his adolescence this way:

“I remember my own adolescence as an unwelcome change from my happy childhood. I did not invite it into my life. Suddenly, all of my friends seemed to go crazy. Every move, every action I did was scrutinized by my friends and peers. It became obvious that many of my former friends no longer considered me quite as ‘cool’ as before . I was apparently somewhat behind the learning curve of adolescent ‘cool and acceptable behavior.’ They would correct the way I looked, stood, spoke, what I wore and most of all how I acted around girls. There were very rigid rules for everything. In addition to this, my eyesight started to go bad, pimples would sometimes erupt on my face, and I had a hard time controlling my moods, sometimes lashing out at my parents.”

What’s fun about that?

Growing up is not easy and teens sense it. Something in them wants to retain the carefree fun of childhood and something in them is calling them to grow up. They just don’t know how.

So, they make a lot of mistakes, most of them harmless and insignificant–yet to us adults, maybe a little irritating. They speak too loud, laugh at any mention of body fluids, dress in order to fit in with somebody. The next day they are exceedingly quiet, refuse to laugh or smile at all about anything, and desire to be alone.

What is going on?

They are (more…)

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Matthew got it right!

I just spent a week at Camp Kletos with sixty-five campers, aged nine to fourteen. They were divided into six groups, each group led by two high school students, one boy and one girl. Six other high school students provided support in activities, and eight adults rounded out our staff. We played games, competed for points, memorized scripture, swam, attended workshops, presented skits, listened to morning teaching and worshiped. Yes, we worshiped.

This was my twenty-fifth year at this camp and I have always been amazed when the children step forward to worship. This year the boys led the way, stepping out of their seats and moving forward toward the band to lift their hands. They wanted to be in God’s presence.

At the beginning, their hearts were open in varying degrees. Some watched curiously; they were not too sure about this. Others entered in wholeheartedly. Many were in between.

Now, watching boys worship is always interesting. (more…)

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Sparks were flying! My twelve-year-old daughter and I were going toe-to-toe, face-to-face, and eye-to-eye. Her fiery retort to my instructions had awakened an anger in me that surprised me.

“You will NOT defy ME, young lady!” I snapped the words out, at the same time angry at her for her defiance and dismayed at myself for my rage.

She met my gaze with her own steadfast, unblinking stare. Anna was one determined, strong-willed child; I was one upset mother; and this was one “nobody’s going to win” situation.

And nobody did. (more…)

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I once asked our friend Kathy Thomson what she did to raise two exceptional kids, Andrew and Lydia. Somewhat surprised, she threw her head back and laughingly answered, “I yelled a lot.”

In those four little words, Kathy expressed what a lot of parents feel, (more…)

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